Norway's emergence as a major oil and gas producer in the mid-1970s transformed the economy. The influx of oil revenue also permitted Norway to expand an already extensive social welfare system. Norway has established a state Petroleum Fund that exceeded $388 billion by the end of December 2007. The fund is primarily designed to help finance government programs once oil and gas resources become depleted. As yet, the country does not have a significant industrial or manufacturing base, and in banking and financial services, the country is in the process of liberalizing and consolidating the industry. Norway's restricted labor market has limited the country's ability for mainland growth, although growth in the service sector has been stronger than in manufacturing. Although Norway voted against joining the European Union, it normally adopts and implements most EU directives, and its principal trading partners are in the EU.

Perhaps you're interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country's exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Norwegian companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in Norway. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided in this section will lead you to information that can support your entry into this affluent market.

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